May 24th, 2018
West Virginia University Libraries has received a Grant for Community Engagement from the WVU Research Office to fund the creation and production of a Morgantown Public Art Guide, in collaboration with the Greater Morgantown Convention and Visitors Bureau, Arts Monongahela, the Art Museum of WVU and the College of Creative Arts.
Spearheaded by WVU Libraries’ Exhibits Coordinator Sally Deskins and Interim Director of Strategy and Planning Carroll Wilkinson, the project is an effort not only to inform residents and visitors of the more than 40 locations displaying public art, but to showcase the benefits of collaboration amongst the University, the community and local arts organizations.
The GMCVB will sponsor the production of the piece and play an integral role in its online and print dispersal and promotion.
“The Morgantown Public Art Guide will be a tremendous resource for area residents, visitors and those considering relocating here,” GMCVB Executive Director Susan Riddle said. “We are excited to help promote the wonderful artwork throughout our community.”
Deskins initiated the project shortly after coming on board in the newly created position at the Libraries, when she noticed a lack of a single unified source for people to learn about Morgantown’s public art. She and Wilkinson discussed the project with the collaborating organizations, who were all supportive and excited about such an undertaking, but all with similarly limited time and resources. Together and with the Libraries’ coordination, the project is underway.
“The project demonstrates the Libraries’ ability to bring about interdisciplinary and collaborative endeavors and bring resources to bear that benefit the whole community,” Interim Dean of Libraries Karen Diaz said. During the spring semester, Deskins’ intern, Jadeyn Dahang-Young, who has since graduated from WVU with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing and Editing, began the first phase of the project, developing content for an online version on theclio.com, a free nonprofit website and mobile app that connects the public to historic and cultural sites across the United States.
This summer, Deskins will work with graphic design student Andi Harvey drafting and solidifying the printed design for production and distribution in the fall.
Currently, Deskins is seeking publicly accessible photographs of some of the sites to feature in the printed guide. Materials should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by July 1.
A community-wide event will launch the printed version of the guide this fall. After the launch, Deskins and Wilkinson will write a case study about the experience. Arts Monongahela is committed to managing the sustainability of the guide, including updates to information and reprinting in the future. Stay up to date at exhibits.lib.wvu.edu.
Community Engagement grants, formerly known as Public Service grants, are designed to stimulate and support community outreach and engagement projects that benefit the citizens of West Virginia and are available to faculty members. Funding from this program is intended to encourage development of additional support for these projects from other sources in the future as well as scholarly output. Funding is provided from the Provost’s Office.